We "heart" Ellia West & her family

My niece, Ellia West, needs a new heart.  I set up this campaign to show support for Ellia & her family.  

Eight years ago, Aaron and Christel's lives were turned upside down when their precious 5 year-old daughter, Ellia West, was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma in her upper arm‎.  This was devestating news, but after a long course of chemotherapy & surgery, she was victorious.  Today, Ellia is 13, and her dad describes her as "kindness & laughter".  She loves animals and would like to be a vet & run a rescue shelter.   She likes camping & hiking in forests, listening to music,  playing story-driven video games, and having long talks with friends.  She draws & journals, sings in her school chorus, and enjoys presenting a masterpiece for a family meal.  Ellia is also proud to be a cancer survivor!

Unfortunately, the treatment that saved her life also damaged her heart.  Ellia has been seeing a cardiologist regularly.  She has to take medication, and she's not allowed to run because her heart cannot handle the stress.  (She loves to ride her bike and feel the wind because it reminds her of running.)

At a routine appointment on April 19, 2016, her cardiologist reported that Ellia's heart is failing.  She was immediately admitted to the PICU and then was airlifted to Vanderbilt's Children's Hosptial in Nashville  where she is currently undergoing evaluation for a heart transplant.  The transplant team is confident that she's a good candiate for a new heart.

The evaluation process will take a week or two, and then she will be placed on a waiting list for a new heart.  (Her doctors aren't sure if Ellia's medication can be adjusted so that she can go home during the wait.  If it can't, she will have to stay in the hospital until a heart is found.)  After surgery she will have a lengthy recovery, including several weeks in the hospital.

Ellia's family lives a couple of hours away from this hospital.  Aaron & Christel have to spend time away from work and home (and Ellia's siblings) in order to be with their daughter while she is in the hospital.  

I know that many people want to help Ellia and her parents.  (I, Aaron's sister, would LOVE to bring them meals and help with house cleaning or pet sitting, but I live too far away.)  Your contribution to this fund will help relieve the unexpected financial burden of medical bills and missed work, and also the additional expenses of food & lodging & gas.  Any financial help we can give would be gratefully appreciated by Ellia's parents.

Aaron has asked for "prayers for my family, for my daughter, and for the awful cost that a transplant brings to the family of any donor."  

Thank you for your prayers and for your support of my brother's family.  We love you, Ellia!!!! 

  • Susan McKiernan 
    • $100 
    • 65 mos
  • Anonymous Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 65 mos
  • Tina Carpenter 
    • $50 
    • 65 mos
  • Jenny and Lara Pfeiler 
    • $25 
    • 66 mos
  • Patty Potter 
    • $100 
    • 66 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Mandy West Sutter 
Chattanooga, TN
Aaron West 
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